by Saurav Sarkar
The Associated Press (AP) reports that Saudi Arabia’s authoritarian government has sentenced to death retired schoolteacher Mohammed bin Nasser al-Ghamdi. The brother of a UK-based dissident is facing execution for his online activity on Twitter and YouTube that was critical of the Saudi government.
“They are sending a clear and sinister message—that nobody is safe and even a tweet can get you killed,” said Lina Alhathloul to the AP. Alhathloul is the Head of Monitoring and Advocacy at the UK-based Saudi rights organization, ALQST for Human Rights.
Al-Ghamdi’s execution order comes in the context of previous lengthy prison terms for others who spoke out online against the Saudi government’s repression. However, this is the first case that involves the death penalty.
According to the AP, Saudi Arabia executed the third-most individuals in the world in 2022. This included a mass execution of 81 people on March 12, reported Amnesty International. Beyond the death penalty, the country has also been criticized for attacking the freedom of speech, freedom of association, women’s rights, religious freedoms, and migrants’ rights. “Saudi Arabia has announced important reforms, but the repression of independent civil society and critical voices impedes any attempt,” said rights group Human Rights Watch.
Author Bio: Saurav Sarkar is a freelance writer and editor who covers political activism and labor movements. They live in Long Island, New York, and have also lived in New York City, New Delhi, London, and Washington, D.C. Follow them on Twitter @sauravthewriter and at sauravsarkar.com.
Credit Line: from the Globetrotter News Service